Sunshine Coast Lightning has confirmed its official team list for the remainder of the 2023 season, after the Club suffered two ACL injuries before the season commenced.

Shannon Eagland — an experienced defender who has played in excess of 50 Suncorp Super Netball games across two Clubs — has been officially named a Permanent Replacement Player after Tara Hinchliffe ruptured her ACL during a pre-season tournament in February.

Lightning Head Coach Belinda Reynolds said Shannon’s leadership and experience are both key attributes the High Performance team were looking for during recruitment.

“We are pleased to officially elevate Shannon as our permanent replacement for Tara. Tara is a huge loss for our team so when searching for her replacement we were looking for someone with strong leadership qualities and experience,” she said.

“Shannon has been the perfect cultural fit and has brought a real intensity to our training as well as having the ability to impact games when required. She also gives us a great deal of versatility in our line-ups which will be a great asset moving forward for the rest of the season.”

Lightning can also confirm that Reilley Batcheldor, who suffered a ruptured ACL in August of 2022 at the Australian Netball Championships competition will not return this season, meaning young Goal Shooter Charlie Bell has been elevated to Permanent Replacement Player status.

While Batcheldor is progressing well with her rehabilitation, the decision to rule her out for the season has been made in close consultation with the performance and medical team as well as with Reilley herself.

“Roo [Reilley] has been extremely diligent in her rehabilitation and has been ticking off milestones regularly. Roo’s health and netball journey has always been our number one priority and I cannot wait to see what her future holds,” Reynolds said.

“This provides the opportunity for Charlie to be elevated as Reilley’s permanent replacement. I have been impressed by the way Charlie has been progressing in our environment and confident she will continue to grow and be a real target for us this year. Charlie offers us a different structure in our game plan which will be imperative to our success moving forward.”

Sunshine Coast Lightning will take on the NSW Swifts this Sunday at 4pm at UniSC Arena. Tickets are available to purchase via www.sunshinecoastlightning.com.au/tickets

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